Life is full of tradeoffs

February 19, 2007 at 1:29 pm | Posted in country living, dating, faith, family, food, free knitting patterns, health, Holidays, knitting, love, marriage, photography, relationships, romance, weight loss, yarn | 25 Comments

Fireflys Valentines Day FlowersI’m off caffeine.

I’ll just let that sink in for a minute …

I love coffee. I love English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and green teas. Along with loving the beverages, I love the fact and the act of having a cup of coffee with someone I love or with a good friend. Saturday and Sunday mornings, sipping coffee while chatting with my husband … sweet. Late weekday mornings sipping coffee or tea with the readers of my blog … very nice.

However, for health and energy reasons I am off caffeine. The truth of the matter is, I feel much better, when I am not consuming any caffeine; I have more energy, I wake up earlier in the morning, accomplish more during my days, and even lose weight more easily when I am off caffeine. For those and other reasons I am off caffeine entirely now.

Thank goodness for Celestial Seasonings. Although I have not found a place anywhere near our farm with a satisfying assortment of Celestial Seasonings teas, and I cannot find my most favorite varieties, I can find some of their tea and it is a good sip.

My favorite variety of all time was RoastAroma, but that was even difficult to find in Los Angeles (I know not why). Their various fruit teas are quite tasty, and today I will have the last bag out of a box of Madagascar Vanilla Red (I think that was the name).

Fireflys Valentines Day FlowersRecently my mother mailed a couple of bags of their Bengal Spice tea my way, so that we could have a cup of tea together via phone, as we are about fifteen hundred miles separated. Friday we had our tea. There isn’t anything quite like a nice quiet chat over a cup of tea between mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. It is a sweet, quiet affair providing comfort and charm to a sparkling little corner of a world needing more of both. Our world needs more of such moments, shared, contemplated, and spread out into the void of human consciousness.

During our chat, she told me about a high tea she attended in downtown Denver with two of her daughter-in-laws and one granddaughter. It brought to mind the days just before my now-husband came to Los Angeles last year to fetch me for our wedding and trip across the country to the farm here in New York.

I had returned to Los Angeles, after meeting him face-to-face in New York, on April 5th. I had just over three weeks to prepare myself, my family and friends, and my life for a wedding and a move across the country. He would be flying to Los Angeles on the 28th and we would leave the next day for our wedding and the road trip that was our honeymoon.

It was a happy and sweet thrill ride, the twenty-three days I had to both get ready and say goodbye to California. My rib injury slowed the process down and made it more interesting. Somewhere in the midst of it all I needed to drive up to the California Bay Area for Easter weekend at the beach house with my in-laws from my previous marriage. Although that marriage was brief and had ended twenty years earlier, my in-laws and I had remained friends over the years and I wanted to spend one last beach house vacation with them before the opportunity to do so was more difficult to act on.

The first night I arrived at the beach house, the three of us stayed up late talking about the excitement of what was happening in my life. They were genuinely interested in our love story and wanted as many details as I was willing to share. It was a beautiful evening, and a lovely weekend away … although the drive up and back was a bit hard on my aching rib.

Fireflys Valentines Day FlowersOnce I was back in LA, I had to plan which of my clothing and belongings I absolutely had to have and which I could leave behind in storage. I also had to arrange for a pretty dress for the wedding, shop for a ring for him, help plan our honeymoon road trip, get my hair cut, etc.

Most importantly, however, there was my son, my sister and her family, and my closest friends and associates to spend time with on the west coast while there was still time to do so. And time was whizzing by at a dizzying rate.

The week before he came to get me was filled with lunches, coffees, and teas with dear friends thrilled at my happiness and stunned by my adventure. I had high tea twice that week, plus my sister put on a shower for me that was a tea as well. I had more cucumber sandwiches and scones that week than I will most likely have again in my entire life.

Each get together was sweet and dear in its own way, and treasured as a memory. I had never felt as girly as I did that week, all at once.

Hmm, it’s snowing again. We are dusted yet again and made to look pretty as a dessert.

1I do miss my sweet friends, and being able to just put out a call and say to my sister, “Hey, thought I’d drop by for a few minutes to celebrate the moments of our life.” Or, to my dear friend Christine, “Can you meet me at Penelope’s for tea about ten?” Or, when my friend J.J. who I was renting a room for the few months before leaving, “Want to meet down by he fireplace for a coffee in a couple of minutes?” The warmth, the laughter, the companionship, and the spontaneity … I do miss all of that.

Fireflys Un-Identified Knitted ObjectI look outside at the beautiful snow, the barn, the trees dusted white. I think of my dear husband.

Life is full of tradeoffs. Fruit tea for coffee. Happiness, love, and fulfillment in marriage on a farm in western New York for friends and family in familiar surroundings in Southern California. Though there are many things I miss, I wouldn’t miss this experience for anything.

The beauty of today’s world is that you can be 3,000 miles away, or 1,500 miles away from a friend of loved one and still manage spontaneous contact, a cup of tea, and the sweetness of chatting with a friend.

So, let’s have a cup of whatever together this morning … my friend.

Yarn for Fireflys New Spring HatThe photographs today feature roses sent by my son for Valentine’s day. Lush and healthy and beautiful … three are green. Green roses, beautiful.

The UKO (un-identified knitted object) is just that … un-identified. I’m working on a gift idea, and will share more when I have made more progress.

The yarn, I bought this weekend for a spring time hat I plan to knit for myself.

Thanks for taking the time with me. I wish you a fine and beautiful day.

~firefly

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25 Comments »

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  1. Nice roses and nice pics! Very heart-warming.

    I don’t drink coffee too anymore. Whenever I have coffee and I go to sleep, the next morning I feel as If i didn’t sleep at all. Not good at all.

    Take care!!

  2. If you email me an addie, I will send you the most divine decaf care package and even hunt around town (Houston seems to have everything somewhere) for that favorite CS of yours. My partner and I have become certified tea snobs and Teavana, which I suspect does not have a local store near you, does have a website, teavana.com and I have also ordered from Rishi Tea online. I am currently drinking a black tea ginger blend, and if I remember correctly, Rooibos teas are decaf.

    There is plenty to explore in the realm of tea!

    I also wanted to mention that when I was visiting my folks last year, I happened across a roadside veggie mart from a local farm. They had yarn that had been processed from the farm’s sheep, so be on the lookout when the season comes around. This was in Keene Valley, NY, not terribly near you, I think, but it possibly could be found at other small stores of that kind.

  3. Tea has caffeine too. You are not off caffeine, just cutting back.

    Here’s a good link

    http://www.stashtea.com/caffeine.htm

    Neverless, I enjoy your blogs. As John Denver would say, “It’s a long way from L.A. to New York.”

    [firefly responds: I appreciated your comment, but I think there was a misunderstanding. I am only drinking caffiene free tea, herb tea, at this point. No black tea, green, tea, or white tea mixed in there. ~ firefly]

  4. Another beautiful post that rings true in SO many ways for me. I identify with so much in so many of your posts, right down to the rib pain in this one. (I am minus a rib on my left side due to a surgery when I was 18. It gives me much anguish even now.)

    I have been trying to get off of caffeine and would very much like to but haven’t seemed to been able to yet. It is hard. But, I have cut down so I’m proud of the step in the direction, anyway. Good for you for cutting it out. That is encouraging to the rest of us who aspire to do so!

    If you ever need a tea ration sent your way, I’d be happy to help. Just let me know.

    Shanti,

    Karen Beth πŸ™‚

  5. Ahhh, tea. I had to abandon caffeine entirely several years ago due to a heart problem.

    Rooibos saved my sanity, though I didn’t like the Celestial Seasonings you mentioned. I don’t like many of the Celestial Seasonings teas, they go bitter on me. I have now switched entirely to Alvita teas. We get them at the local healthfood store. They are much more economical than Republic of Tea and have a lot of herbal options.

    As far as energy goes, how are you on sugar? You might try Stevia. It’s an herbal alternative to sugar that causes no insulin response. I find when I’m caffeine and sugar free, my energy levels and creative powers go way, way up.

    Good luck in your caffeine free quest.

    [firefly responds: For the most part, I don’t eat sugar. Before I moved to NY, I was off of sugar completely. It has been a bit more difficult to stay 100% off of it here, because of the rural opportunitites for sharing and potlucks, etc. I have tried Stevia, but don’t care for it. I find just not having a sweet tooth is the best solution to the sugar question. ~firefly]

  6. It’s a good sign that you feel better without it – there are so many tasty alternatives, too! What a beautiful story about preparing for your wedding πŸ™‚ And you’ve inspired me to call some old friends – thanks!

  7. Love your blog!

    You can buy Celestial Seasonings directly online.

    http://www.celestialseasonings.com

    There is a “Buy Online” button at the top right. They have both the Madagascar Vanilla Red and the RoastAroma available to purchase.

  8. Peppermint tea is a very invigorating drink first thing in the morning and after a cold day spent outside.

    Your roses are beautiful and it sounds as though so were many of your goodbyes and “see-you-laters”.

  9. I hope you realize how uplifting your posts are. Your posts make me tear up…in a very good way.

    Take care!

  10. Lovely post, lovely photos. I’ve never seen a green rose!

    My favourite teas are from Numi Tea. I received some as a gift a couple of years ago, and was amazed that none of the teas in the sampler turned bitter (something I hate about a lot of teas). If you get the chance, you should try them.

  11. My husband keeps telling me to get off the caffeine and I just can’t. I get the worse headaches…how do you get passed that. I know I just need to take the plunge, I’ve done it before but I just can’t seem to now. I’d love any suggestions from you or your readers.
    Thanks as always for your blog. Oh, I need to send a square to you…please send your address when you get a minute or is it too late. Let me know one way or the other.
    Have a great day!

  12. I gave up the caffeine of coffee many years ago. I do drink tea and I know it has caffeine, but I love my tea and my health is not suffering, so I continue with a cuppa a few times a day.
    When I gave up caffeine, after a few days I thought I was getting a flu – aches all over, dull headache – I read that giving up caffeine can trigger these symptoms, but after a few days they went away. Hope you find some good de-caf teas!
    Beautiful roses and I am interested in the hat you are planning!

  13. Hello, Firefly. This is another beautifully written post. Thank you.

    Incidentally, do you drink rosebud tea? I would imagine the caffeine content would be low if even existent. I mix my buds with a few other fruits/flowers and drink the hot tea all day long.

  14. Does being off caffiene includes being off chocolate?

  15. Oh, I thought of chocolate too. I love the dark stuff – thank goodness I can process caffeine without any trouble. My daughter lives very near to the Celestial Seasonings main office – and she can get any type of tea they carry – so, if you need something special I will have her get some for you.

  16. Can you have ginger root? You can boil it to make tea or just put some slices in it for a refreshing taste. I even put it in iced tea and water.

  17. I’ve been off coffee (and caffine in all it’s forms except chocolate) since December 5th (it’s the mark of a true addict that they know the date they gave up!) and do feel better for it, though I miss the ritual of making coffee. I’ve been drinking a lot of ginger tea.

    For me, living in a foreign country, the internet has become my life-line, it’s even encouraged my mum to get email.

  18. I love peppermint tea. Orange spice. Lemon Mint. And on and on goes my list. I still sneak in a cup of Half Caf (Folger’s) too, though. It doesn’t have the side effects of full caffeinated coffee, at least not for me.

    I loved your story about spending time with your former in-laws. What a precious relationship, to still meet them for special times twenty years later.

  19. How beautiful! I see one of my favorite little characters all ready for spring! πŸ™‚ I think even if we stay put, we keep moving on. The tide of life as it were. Congrats on your health decision!

  20. I craved tea when I was pregnant! I bought the IngenuiTEA from Adagio tea. I loved the entire process of making loose tea. Once the baby showed up, I lost the love. I’ll still make a cup or two a week, but it’s usually from a bag. It’s one thing I hope returns with a second baby.

  21. are you near a wegmans? if so, they have celestial seasonings- and i am talking like a full aisle of them! i too am a fan of bengal spice, i like to let it steep a really long time, and then add a lot of milk and make it like a chai tea…change is never easy, and caffeine is a hard addiction to break…hang in there!

  22. Ahhh…a woman after my own heart! I love tea and coffee, not just to drink, but the warmth and comfort of the cup and the ability to pause in this crazy world and catch up with old (or new) friends. Though I haven’t had the chance to take tea properly but maybe a handful of times, I still love the idea of pausing in the mid afternoon to rest and reflect a bit. Of course, the scones and tea sandwiches are scrummy too!

    Speaking of which, it has been a while and I just wanted to say that I have missed you. It will be fun to peruse through and read the posts that I have neglected these past weeks.

    Glad to see that things are still going well and you are enjoying your time. I bet the farm is just perfect in the snow…out the window with a cup of tea! πŸ™‚

    Pop by for a cuppa when you get a moment.

  23. http://www.celestialseasonings.com will get you a wonderful website. I also live in the country and have a hard time finding certain items. Even though I work in a fairly large town, some items are not available. I love shopping the web and the delivery to my home, but I do miss my “little” shops in the city, where I knew the owners and they knew what their customers liked. Hope you enjoy your tea, have a cup for me.

    Starr

  24. This is a timely post. I live in NYC, was born and raised here. I’ve always expected that I would stay here. But lately I’ve had this growing need for quiet and a garden. But I wonder, am I romanticizing country life? Will I miss easily accessible Thai food? There is really only one way to find out. To that end I am taking a little field trip to Woodstock to check things out, see how it feels. Your experience makes me hopeful that though I will have to make tradeoffs that it will be the right thing.

  25. I just can’t get over your beautiful photographs. Have you taken classes or are you self taught? I also love your blog. It’s been helping me evaluate my life.


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